Western Iowa beach closed after confirmed case of rare brain infection

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:10 AM CDT
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TAYLOR COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - A Taylor County beach is temporarily closed for swimming as a precaution after a case of a rare brain infection was confirmed.

In a news release, officials said they’re testing to confirm the presence of Naegleria fowleri in Lake of Three Fires at Lake of Three Fires State Park in western Iowa. The testing is being conducted in conjunction with the CDC.

Officials say it could take several days to complete.

The CDC says Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba, commonly found in warm, freshwater, that can cause a rare life-threatening infection of the brain called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. The amoeba enters the body through the nose and then travels to the brain where it destroys brain tissue.

Officials said the infection is extremely rare, with only 154 known cases in the U.S. since 1962.

The infection can’t spread from one person to another and can’t be contracted by swallowing contaminated water.

The CDC said people should contact their health care provider if they experience the following symptoms after swimming in any warm body of water:

  • Severe headache.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Seizures.
  • Altered mental status.
  • Hallucinations.

Find more information here.

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